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Josh Moon

Opinion | Doug Jones is selling out the people who elected him

Josh Moon

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It’s time for a reality check for Doug Jones.

You’re not going to be re-elected to the U.S. Senate.

Look, I’d love to think that there’s a chance, even a Lloyd Christmas “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” sort of chance. But there’s not.

You were nearly beaten by a man who was widely loathed in this state BEFORE he was accused of molesting a couple of teens and acting like a creepy uncle with several more. The worst candidate in modern political history nearly beat you because he had the good fortune of having an R beside his name and living in a state filled with people too ignorant to understand that a senator can’t affect abortion law at this point. (And please, spare the mock outrage over the late-term abortion ban bill that Jones voted against. That thing would’ve been declared unconstitutional by the next day by any federal court it landed in.)

So, when Del Marsh or some other Republican who didn’t allegedly molest teen girls lands on the ticket opposite you, you’re toast.

And it’s high time you started acting like it.

And stopped selling out the very people who put you in that office.

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Without record support from the black community in Alabama (Jones’ numbers among black voters rivaled President Obama’s 2008 numbers), there’s zero chance that Jones is sitting in that office in D.C. today.

And without monumental efforts to get progressives out to the polls, ditto.

How has Jones rewarded those groups?

By voting for a rollback of the Dodd-Frank banking regulations that were put in place to protect regular working folks from losing their 401ks and life savings in another financial crash, like the one that crippled America in 2008.

Included in the bill rolling back those protections was a particularly nasty, racist bit of language that will allow local banks to go back to the discriminatory lending practices of the past.

When the Dodd-Frank protections were passed a few years ago, they contained a little-known provision that required banks making mortgage loans to report additional info on borrowers they approved and denied. In addition to race and gender, the banks had to report income, credit scores, employment history and other factors that were considered in making the loans.

They did this because those banks, when accused of discriminatory lending practices, usually claimed that the denials of minority borrowers were related to those additional factors.

They weren’t denying black borrowers because they were black, the banks said, but because those black borrowers had lower credit scores, a sketchy employment history or were borrowing for homes in declining neighborhoods.

Well, guess what?

That wasn’t true.

A comprehensive report from the Center for Investigative Reporting, using the newly-required reporting info, found that minority applicants were 61 percent more likely to be denied a conventional home mortgage even when factors such as income, credit score and location were considered.

Mobile had the absolute worst score among metro markets, with black applicants 5.6 times less likely to be approved for a loan. In Montgomery, blacks were 3 times more likely to be denied.

Even with regulators watching, and with the possibility of fines and penalties, these banks went right ahead discriminating.

And now, thanks to Jones and 16 other Democrats, they can do it in the dark again.

It’s shameful.

No half-conscious person in Alabama doesn’t recognize the ramifications of this. Certainly not someone like Jones. He has to know Alabama’s long history of using discriminatory lending practices — especially at the community bank level — to prevent black families from moving into “breakaway” communities, and thus denying black children the ability to go to better schools.

In an op-ed that appeared in several Alabama newspapers, Jones defended his decision by saying that he wants to be more bipartisan and work across the aisle.

That’s a fine sentiment and all, but when the progressive voters of this state put Jones in office, their vision of him pushing bipartisanship was on bills that restored the rights of all people, that protected the least of us, that upheld the belief that all men are created equal.

Not a bill that ensures documented and provable discrimination will continue and flourish. Not a bill that makes it progressively harder for more Americans to achieve the American Dream. Not a bill that makes it easier for big banks to rob the working men and women — again.

Hell, Roy Moore could have done that.

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